Saturday, January 27, 2007

We're all sinful. We all have a wicked past before we came to Christ. Everyone who has ever lived is a wretched sinner deserving the wrath of an angry God for all of eternity. Yet there are some whom God has graciously chosen to call to Himself. Yet the lives that we lived before we came to that saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ was one filled with sin, anger, rebellion, hatred to God and hostility to God.

Edwards gives this piece of advice to new converts and it is needed to be heard by many today:

"Do not dwell on the past, think of Christ"

Edwards is saying here. Don't dwell on your past. Whatever that may have entailed. Whether you were just a loving peasant boy or the worst of prostitutes; whether you were a bellboy at a nearby hotel or whether you were a drug addict and a drunk; whether you had a nice, homely well-to-do marriage or whether you were physically beating your family up and cheating on your wife with the neighbor next door, Edwards says - do NOT dwell on this past.

In fact, there is much Scriptural proof to support this:

Psalm 103:1-4 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Jeremiah 31:34 34 "And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

2 Corinthians 5:16-19 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

This is no way justifies the old, sinful and hideous life that we all once lived before we were irresistibly called by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, but what it does do is enable us to recognize that all of our past sin is totally and forever forgiven through the blood of Christ.

This is what the phrase means when Jesus uttered on the cross:

John 19:30 30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

It was a commercial term used in the Greco/Roman marketplaces meaning that the debt has been completely paid IN FULL. There is nothing left that still has to be forgiven. No, it is all paid for In Full!

Thus, don't dwell on your past. Rather, Edwards would say, dwell on the future. Think on cross. Let the beauty, glory, majesty and sovereignty of our Lord Jesus Christ enthrall your hearts this day and every day as long as he gives you breath.

Colossians 3:1-4 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

What could be better to dwell on than the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being raised with Him in glory one day in the near future?


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